Karei-naru tsuiseki (1975)

The Great Chase is a blast. Etsuko Shihomi — Sister Street Fighter herself — stars in a spy film from Norifumi Suzuki (School of the Holy BeastRoaring Fire, ten Torakku Yarō movies which are caper films in the world of dekotora, highly decorated trucks) that was exactly what I needed on a winter day filled with post-holiday ennui.

She plays Shinobu, an agent charged with stopping drug smugglers who put their heroin into the bodies of dead girls, a gang connected to her father, who was framed for a similar crime five years ago and died in prison. This mission involves battling bad guys who can smash rocks on their heads, one with killer playing cards, another with a whip and singing female wrestler Mach Fumiake, a real Japanese pro wrestler who was also the Kilara leader in Gamera Super Monster.

Shinobu is also super famous as a race car driver and even has her own fan club, plus she seems to be some kind of Buckaroo Banzai-esque polymath, as she’s also a master of disguise and a martial artist. This brings her up against Onozawa, a man who enjoys arrdvarking while dressed in a cat suit as he listens to Mozart under a photo of Hitler and his gang of men dressed as nuns moving drugs though a convent who totally must have been exchanging tips in some kind of drug gang peer group with the baddies in They Call Her Cleopatra Wong.

This movie doesn’t want to be normal. And that’s why I love it. In my dreams Suzuki made a whole bunch more movies as Shinobu.

Make your day great. Watch this on YouTube.

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